Washington State University

Student Financial Services

How Dropping Classes Can Affect Your Financial Aid

To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, students are required to successfully complete a minimum number of credits. If you are considering dropping classes after the start of the semester, please keep the following credit guidelines in mind.

Minimum Credit Hours:

Credits Enrolled at Beginning of SemesterCredits That Must Be Completed
12 or More Credits Must complete a minimum of 12 credits
9–11 Credits Must complete a minimum of 9 credits
6–8 Credits  Must complete a minimum of 6 credits
5 or Less Credits Must complete all credits attempted


If you fail to make satisfactory academic progress during any term, you will be placed on a one-term warning status or may have your aid denied. The following criteria is used to determine your status:

Warning Status

  • Warning status occurs when students fail to complete the minimum number of hours required, based on their individual enrollment. Students are allowed one warning term to complete the minimum credit hours that are needed in order to get back into compliance. 

Credits Enrolled in at Beginning of Semester:Placed on Warning if Completed Only:
12 or more credits 6–11 credits
11 credits 6–8 credits
10 credits 5–8 credits
9 credits 5–8 credits
8 credits 4–5 credits
7 credits 4–5 credits
6 credits 3–5 credits


Denial of Financial Aid Funds

  • Denial of financial aid funds occurs when students fail to complete the minimum number of hours required during a warning term or students fail to complete at least 50% of the minimum number of hours required based on individual enrollment.
  • Students attempting 5 or less credits will be in denial if they do not complete ALL of their credits during any term.
  • If a student is placed in a denial status, they must successfully complete a SAP appeal to continue receiving their aid.


Pace Towards Degree – Credit Completion

In addition to completing the minimum credit hours, you must complete at least 67 percent of your overall attempted credits, which includes any additional credits transferred to WSU.

  • If you drop below the cumulative 67 percent completion rate you will be placed on  “warning” status and have one term to bring your completion rate above 67 percent before losing your eligibility for aid.
  • If you are still below the cumulative 67 percent completion rate at the end of the warning term your financial aid will be suspended.
  • You may regain your eligibility for aid if you successfully appeal or complete a term on your own and are no longer in suspension status.


For more information, please consult the comprehensive Washington State University Satisfactory Academic Progress Handbook.



Office Hours:
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Student Financial Services, Lighty Building Room 380, Washington State University, PO Box 641068, Pullman WA 99164-1068, 509-335-9711.